Fodor's Expert Review Calton Hill

New Town Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook
Free

Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite view of his beloved city was from the top of this hill, and it's easy to see why. Located in the heart of the city, Calton Hill offers stunning vistas of the Old and New Towns and out to the Firth of Forth, making it a popular setting for picnicking and watching festival fireworks. Great views aside, the hill is also home to a number of impressive monuments. The most notable is the so-called National Monument, also known as "Scotland's Disgrace," which was commissioned in 1822 and intended to mimic Athens's Parthenon. But after just 12 columns had been built, the money ran out, leaving the facade as a monument to high aspirations and poor fundraising. Nearby, the 100-foot-high Nelson Monument, completed in 1815 in honor of Britain's greatest naval hero, is topped with a "time ball" that is dropped at 1 pm every day. Other hillside monuments honor notable Scots ranging from mathematician John Playfair to philosopher Dugald Stewart.

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Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite view of his beloved city was from the top of this hill, and it's easy to see why. Located in the heart of the city, Calton Hill offers stunning vistas of the Old and New Towns and out to the Firth of Forth, making it a popular setting for picnicking and watching festival fireworks. Great views aside, the hill is also home to a number of impressive monuments. The most notable is the so-called National Monument, also known as "Scotland's Disgrace," which was commissioned in 1822 and intended to mimic Athens's Parthenon. But after just 12 columns had been built, the money ran out, leaving the facade as a monument to high aspirations and poor fundraising. Nearby, the 100-foot-high Nelson Monument, completed in 1815 in honor of Britain's greatest naval hero, is topped with a "time ball" that is dropped at 1 pm every day. Other hillside monuments honor notable Scots ranging from mathematician John Playfair to philosopher Dugald Stewart.

The hill is also home to the City Observatory, which hosts regular contemporary art exhibitions, as well as upmarket restaurant The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage. It also plays host to the Beltane Fire Festival every April 30.

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Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook Silversea Cruise Free

Quick Facts

Bounded by Leith St. to the west and Regent Rd. to the south
Edinburgh, Edinburgh  EH7 5AA, Scotland

0131-556–2716

www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Nelson Monument £6

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